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A new way to communicate at BC Technologies

Published 24/11/2022 by Janice Findlay 4 min read

BC Technologies - L-R: Andrew Laycock, Grant Emery, Iain Henderson, Rachel Wallace, Jason Rogerson, Calum Dick, Holly Wallace, Paul Blair, Brendon Wallace & Kieran McGoldrick.

Janice Findlay, innovation programme manager with HIE’s Co-Innovate programme, talks to Argyll  business, BC Technologies, about their innovative project management software solution.  

With their head office in Dunoon and a second office in London, BC technologies provide a range of IT and telecommunication services to over 200 business clients across the UK.

Services include IT Support and consultancy; web and data management solutions; as well as reliable technology insight and cyber security expertise.

With a large portfolio of clients across a wide geographic area and covering a range of different services, BC Technologies wanted to invest in project management software which would help them work smarter and support them to expand their client base.

Brendon Wallace, partner at BC Technologies goes onto explain, “I was aware of the benefits and limitations of many of the task and project management software solutions on the market.

“Most software fails to be adopted consistently due to the differences in how people in organisations use it which is why we had an idea to build our own which would support us and our clients.

“We saw the potential to not only streamline our own workflows, but to sell subscriptions to the product and open new revenue streams.”

The Co-Innovate programme awarded BC Technologies a grant to employ a project manager to design a tool which deploys tailored alerts to make sure work is completed smoothly and investigate how artificial intelligence could be used to enhance the product.

Calum Dick, aged 24 joined the team with a background in business management and marketing and an enthusiasm for IT and communications.

“I have been involved in introducing new systems in a previous role which has helped me with this project in terms of coordination, documentation, and training”.  Calum said.

“I also recognised the problems that can occur in business through missed communication.

“However, the unique challenge here was developing something from scratch!  Seeing the project develop from an idea into a functioning system has been really rewarding. 

“I was also lucky enough to work with a great development team who have brought relevant expertise and helped to bring this project to life.

The system is designed to take information from a range of sources, including email, electronic diaries and standard project management and resource planning software and use this information to alert staff to deadlines using a green/amber/red system.

This is then communicated via a simple dashboard that can be displayed on any phone, computer or tablet and is visible on large screens around the office.

 In time, it will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict likely delays or missed actions, prompting early intervention, and aiding continual customer service improvement.

Through Co-Innovate BC Technologies also received academic expertise from Dr Gerrard McCloskey at the Atlantic Technological University, Co. Donegal, formerly the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Brendon explains how the collaboration really benefitted the project,

“Having Dr McCloskey on board allowed us to explore the use of artificial intelligence in the system and help our understanding of how the software learns from its users.

“We didn’t have this level of expertise in the business and so being able to access this support through Co-Innovate has been invaluable. 

So now that the 12-month project is complete what’s next?

Calum’s post is now permanent, and he will continue to work on the next phase of the project and manage similar projects in the future. 

Integrating AI into the system is a priority for the business too as Calum explains,

“We are really excited by the potential of machine learning and plan to further invest in integrating AI into our final product.

“This will improve communication throughout the company and overall improve productivity”.

Co-Innovate supports small or medium sized businesses based in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and Lochalsh, Lochaber and Argyll and the Islands. While applications for the business and academia projects are now closed, business advisers can still provide advice, signpost to relevant support and help with networking for those looking to develop a new product, service or process.

Co-Innovate is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). It is delivered in the Highlands and Islands by HIE.